“Sacrifice” was the title and theme of Arrow‘s Season 1 finale, and at the end of an hour that was basically Twitter-proof — any number of tweets of despair, anxiety and the always trusty “Oh nooooo!” could have applied to multiple characters thrust into danger in the final moments — one key player was not able to walk away.
“You don’t know in your heart what you’re fighting for, what you’re willing to sacrifice. And I do.” So Malcolm Merlyn aka Dark Archer taunted his captive rival, Oliver Queen aka the Hood/vigilante. But this is Oliver Queen we’re talking about, so once the coast is clear, he nimbly extricates himself from his chains and subdues multiple guards, getting an assist along the way from an arriving Diggle.
Meanwhile, Detective Lance corrals Felicity, having become privy to her pattern of Hood-related hacking — but their face-off is interrupted by said vigilante, who calls to tip off the cop about The Undertaking. Lance is skeptical — after all, has anyone since Lex Luthor sought to manmake an earthquake in the name of wrecking real estate? — yet nonetheless loops in his boss, even at the peril of his career.
Oliver brings Tommy up to speed on Malcolm’s machinations, explaining, “Our fathers were not the men we thought they were.” He also suggests that Tommy has “always known, deep down” the type of man his dad is. But Tommy isn’t hearing it, hissing back, “I wish you’d have died on that island.”
Speaking of the island, a brief pause to update: In flashback we see that Fyers did fire (fyer?) off a missile, but Oliver, Shado and Slade were able to fend off the armed forces and reroute the rocket, blowing their captor’s camp. Later, Fyers resurfaces with Shado at gunpoint, but Oliver pulls back on Yao Fei’s found bow and drops the villain — thereby sacrificing his freedom for her.
Back in Starling City, Oliver confronts his mom, demanding, “No more lies.” Moira explains, “Everything I’ve done was to protect you and your sister,” that she holds Malcolm responsible for Robert’s death. Ollie then clues her in on Robert’s noble sacrifice on the raft, “so that I could live.” When Malcolm calls Moira to say he’s fast-tracking The Undertaking, Oliver races off — “Somebody in this family needs to put an end to this, no matter the cost” — but not before stopping an inordinate amount of time to deliver to Laurel a fine but strangely romantically lit speech about how the island “scraped away” everything that he wasn’t to reveal the man she always saw…? Oh, and P.S. “Stay out of The Glades tonight!”
Malcolm confesses his litany of misdeeds to Tommy, playing the voicemail a dying Rebecca left as his justification. “This city can’t be saved because people there don’t want it to be saved,” he roars. “They deserved to die! All of them! The way she died!”
While Moria holds a press conference to confess her role in The Undertaking and alert the Gladians (Gladiators?) to git outta dodge, Felicity helps Lance track down and deactivate the device. Yay! Alas, after a rousing rooftop fight — during which the Dark Archer taunted Oliver, “Your mother and sister will be joining you in death,” only to wind up on the business end of an arrow — the bleeding baddie laughs to his foe, “If I learned anything as a businessman, it’s redundancy.” And boom, a second device begin cratering the left side of the Glades… where CNRI is located.
Over in the rumbled jungle, Roy uses some nifty skills to fend off a group of thugs, his bacon ultimately saved by Thea and her “wicked aim” with a beer bottle. Roy then detours their drive out of town to selflessly save some fellow citizens, but not before grabbing a swell smooch from his No. 1 girl. “You better haul ass outta here,” she urges the one-day Speedy.
We then turn to the final set piece, after a sobbing Felicity alerts Oliver to the dire sitch in Laurel’s nabe. And sure ’nuff, Laurel has been pinned by a felled slab of concrete, but Tommy shows to pull her free, explaining of his presence, “I love you.” But just as Laurel escapes the building, it implodes with Tommy inside. Oliver runs in through another entrance to save his friend, but that simply will not be happening.
“I am my father,” Tommy frets with his final breaths. “No, you’re not,” Oliver counters. Tommy asks, “Did you kill him?” “No.” (Which may be the truth.) “Thank you,” Tommy says, and as he fades away, Oliver breaks down, bellowing, “It shoulda been me! Open your eyes!!”
What did you think of the Arrow finale? Did the scope of the episode and the drama blow you away? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much did Tommy’s death shock you?